By Kallie Sulanke—
MUNCIE, IN – The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County is pleased to announce the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients are Dray Caldwell, Yorktown High School, and Brynn Wright, Cowan Jr./Sr. High School.
Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.
Lilly Endowment Inc. created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling more than $486 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) with local support from Indiana community foundations.
Caldwell and Wright were selected from an applicant pool of 66 candidates from high schools across Delaware County. Each high school nominates one representative from their school to be considered for this scholarship.
“Finalists for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Delaware County must show great leadership potential, be well-rounded in their involvement, and exhibit community-mindedness,” said Marcy Minton, president and CEO of The Community Foundation. “Dray Caldwell and Brynn Wright were selected because of their leadership and service to their school community and the larger community. They will represent Muncie and Delaware County as Lilly Scholars and carry that honor with them for the rest of their lives.”
Dray Caldwell, a senior at Yorktown High School, plans to study computer science with a focus on cybersecurity. He is the son of Danin Caldwell and Deborah Caldwell. During his high school career, Dray has achieved high academic standing, participated on the Yorktown swim, cross country, and track teams, served in many clubs, engaged in community service, and gained work experience. Dray’s leadership experience set him apart for selection as a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient. Within the school, Dray has leadership roles in DECA, student council, Dance Marathon, yearbook, and Champions Together, and participates as a member in many other groups. He also serves as the president of the statewide IHSAA Student Advisory Committee and Region 3 past president and current VP of Marketing for Indiana DECA.
Brynn Wright, a senior at Cowan Jr./Sr. High School, plans to study pre-physical therapy. She is the daughter of Deborah Wright and Vince Wright. During her high school career, Brynn has been a top student in her class, a three-sport athlete participating in cross country, cheerleading, and track, an active member of many clubs and groups, an avid community volunteer, and maintains employment. What set Brynn apart as a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient is her community-minded spirit and ability to incorporate service to others into all areas of her life.
Brynn has been a lifelong member of 4-H. Beyond caring for and showing her animals, she serves as the Dairy Barn Superintendent, volunteers at 4-H events, helps with Mini 4-Hers, and mentors other 4-Hers. Similarly, as president of Key Club, Brynn leads the club meetings, sets an example by participating in volunteer and fundraising activities hosted by the club, and picks up club members who need a ride to the morning meetings to ensure anyone who wants to participate can. As a student-athlete, she has also earned sportsmanship awards for her consideration of fellow teammates and competitors.
In selecting Delaware County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholars, consideration is given to leadership potential, community and civic service, student activities and achievements, and academic ability. After the field of nominees was narrowed, the finalists’ names were submitted to ICI to select the recipients.
In addition to administering the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County manages more than 50 additional scholarship funds that provide scholarship awards to graduating seniors and current college students in Delaware County. Scholarship applications open December 16 at DelawareCountyScholarships.com. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023. Each scholarship has unique criteria, and awards are given for a variety of activities and for a wide range of grade point averages. All current high school seniors are invited to visit DelawareCountyScholarships.com to complete the universal application to determine for which specific scholarships they may apply. Questions may be directed first to high school counselors or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Lilly Endowment Scholarship Program
The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.
About the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc.
The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. encourages philanthropy, assists donors in building an enduring source of charitable assets, and exercises leadership in directing resources to enhance the quality of life for residents of Muncie and Delaware County. Since 1985, community members and businesses have helped the Foundation grow our endowment to $88 million. Using the earnings on the endowment, the Foundation distributes grants to nonprofit organizations, including scholarships to support students through post-secondary education. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $63 million to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Muncie and Delaware County.
About the Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.
Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.